Lubbock Area Veterans Memorial Receives Grant To Honor Fallen Soldiers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/8/07

Lubbock Area Veterans Memorial Receives Grant To Honor Fallen Soldiers

What started out as a NewsChannel 11 question is turning into big money for the Lubbock Area Veterans Memorial.

Last week, we asked why there are often months of delay between the time a soldier is killed in action and the time the name is engraved on the wall. We found it could cost hundreds of dollars to put up just one name on the memorial.

On Monday, the Lubbock Area Foundation pledged to fund the honoring of our fallen heroes. In addition, we could see the names of four area soldiers go up on the wall by the end of the week.

However, this pledge does not end with these four names.

Cpl. Ray Bevel, Army Sgt. Chris Davis, Sergeant Randell Olguin and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Mark Cannon all were killed in action, all have ties to the South Plains, but none of their names are on the wall.

"Last week there was a media report that the name of our fallen heroes was being delayed due to cost concerns," Frank Stogner, President of the Lubbock Area Foundation said.

During our report NewsChannel 11 asked, you don't think it's disrespectful to those who unfortunately lost their lives that it takes so long to get their names up?

"No, it's not disrespect intended. It is just we cannot afford to have it done. It just costs too much to have a name put up here," Jerry Dickson with American Legion Post 575 said.

Following our report, the Lubbock Area Foundation contacted the American Legion post 575, the non-profit group that oversees the Lubbock Area Veterans Memorial.

Stogner says the legion was full of, "extreme gratitude as working with veterans groups is one of the most rewarding things once could do."

The memorial does not receive any federal funding. Instead, donations, the selling of the red bricks and American Legion funds pay for the upkeep and engraving of fallen soldier's names. Moreover, putting up one name on the wall can cost between $500-$600.

"The funds will be available whenever the need arises. We've made that commitment to the Lubbock Area Veterans Memorial and we stand behind that commitment," Stogner said.

Tom Bourland is with the American Legion. He says it does not matter how many names go up, the template and labor cost the same.

"Unfortunately that it's more economically to have several at the same time rather than individually," Bourland added.

However, Bourland says, this new money will speed up the process.

"It will be a shorter wait in the future and hopefully we don't have anymore," Bourland said.

 NewsChannel 11 has learned the engraving company has also volunteered to donate labor to put up the names of the four soldiers killed by enemy fire. Again, we are told those names should be up on the memorial by the end of the week.

The Lubbock Area Foundation also offers scholarships to the wives and children of fallen soldiers through The Fallen Hero's Fund. If you would like to donate to that fund or to help get names added to the wall, call the Lubbock Area Foundation at (806) 762-8061.

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